"The Priceless Gift of Humility"
Jesus was criticsized, rejected , slandered, misunderstood, plotted against, betrayed, denied, and abused by his friends, family and disciples. He was humiliated and sentenced to death by both his own people and by the military occupiers of his country. Yet, he chose to willingly identify with sinners. He lived in poverty and obscurity for the vast majority of his life. As his ministry progressed, Jesus faced increasing levels of hostility andopposition. Yet, he knew who he was and whose he was. His relationship with his Heavenly Father gave him the power and security to love & serve others. He was never defined or constrained by the freely offered opinions of those around him.
The humility of Jesus reflects an absolute dependance on and complete submission to the will of his Father. We see this illustrated in his baptism as a dove descends from heaven. Doves were the sacrifice that the poor and underresourced offered at the temple. Jesus goes out of his way to identify with the poor, the lonely, the stranger, & the outcast.
For us humility is the mark of true repentance, evidence of a transformed life. Our flesh and our pride chafe against humility, so we are forced to learn it through suffering. We learn it through forgiving those who wrong us and by seeing these incidents as opportunities to grow in maturity. As we do, we begin to develop a teachable spirit, a willingness to to seek wise counsel and submit to authority. As we join John the Baptist in saying "he must become greater and I must become less" (John 3:30), we learn the wisdom of humility and stand in awe of the amazing grace of our resurrected King.
"For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11)
"But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:43-45)
“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me."